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Today in History: FDR Delivers His Four Freedoms Speech

Wednesday, January 06, 2010

by Norman Rockwell and published in the Saturday Evening Post

by Norman Rockwell and published in the Saturday Evening Post

On this day in 1941, President Franklin D. Roosevelt delivered an address known as the Four Freedoms Speech to Congress. The four freedoms include: freedom of speech and expression, freedom of religion, freedom from want, and freedom from fear. These are considered the inspiration for Eleanor Roosevelt's United Nations Declaration of Human Rights.

'In the future days, which we seek to make secure, we look forward to a world founded upon four essential human freedoms.

The first is freedom of speech and expression -- everywhere in the world.

The second is freedom of every person to worship God in his own way -- everywhere in the world.

The third is freedom from want, which, translated into world terms, means economic understandings which will secure to every nation a healthy peacetime life for its inhabitants -- everywhere in the world.

The fourth is freedom from fear, which, translated into world terms, means a world-wide reduction of armaments to such a point and in such a thorough fashion that no nation will be in a position to commit an act of physical aggression against any neighbor -- anywhere in the world.'

You can hear the full speech here.

Special thanks to WNYC’s Director of Archives Andy Lanset

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